Script Questions

1. What was the research project and who was conducting the research? Professor Karen Farquharson and several of her colleagues working in sports sociology shared their interests in similar areas of sport and began to work on a project together. Professor Farquharson explains that her interest was specifically in how sport attracts people of culturally diverse backgrounds. One collaborator on the project, Ruth Jeanes from Monash, was interested in how sport manages young people with a disability whereas another collaborator, Ramon Spaaji from Victoria University, was interested in "sport as a vehicle for social inclusion". The research project was centred on diversity in sports, particularly junior sports club, and how issues like gender diversity and sports inclusivity are tackled. 2. What was the research question or the problem the researcher was seeking to investigate? The research project was focused on two questions, the first being how is all types of diversity managed in junior sports clubs? The second question asked to what extent including people with diverse backgrounds can be compatible with promoting sporting excellence and competitiveness in Australia. Both questions involved the researchers investigating how junior sports club included a range of athletes in their clubs and how wide this range was. 3. Briefly describe their process, what method did they use to undertake their research? The researchers used three methods when undertaking their research - interviews, surveys and participant observation. The researchers asked children who went to various sports club about how they felt about playing for the club and they interviewed parents, volunteers, committee members and coaches in addition. Everyone was asked similar questions such as 'how did they define diversity?', 'what kind of diversity did the club try to foster?' and 'how do they go about doing that?'. These interviews were and hour long and semi-structured, allowing for the researchers to ask variations of the same question. They also did surveys with 450 people across 3 clubs. For the participant observation, they observed two clubs by attending club practices and games and volunteered in order to properly observe the culture first-hand. 4. Were there any ethical implications for this research?
The project had to go through an ethics board as the researchers would be observing children. All the parents and/or guardians of the underage children at the club were asked to sign consent forms on behalf of their children. The parents, coaches and volunteers also had to consent to being observed by the researchers. 5. What interested you most about the research project and were there any particular aspects of the project that you identified with? I was interested in the research project as I myself am an elite athlete from a culturally diverse background and I am also the only noticeably 'different' member of the Australian Fencing Team. This means I have firsthand experience in multi- culturalism in sport and how sports clubs tackle diversity, as well as the major lack of diversity in many sports at a club level in Australia, let alone a state and national level. This research project tackled a question that I myself had been asking for many years, which was to what extent cultural diversity was tackled and encouraged in sports in Australia.
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